Fylde coast polymers firm to get new boss

Jakob Sigurdsson who will take over as CEO at Victrex
Jakob Sigurdsson who will take over as CEO at Victrex
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The boss of one of the Fylde coast’s most prominent chemicals businesses is to step down after 24 years.

David Hummel will retire as chief executive officer from Thornton-based polymers specialist Victrex.

His place will be taken by Jakob Sigurdsson who has joined this week as CEO-designate.

Victrex specialises in high performance thermoplastics, such as in the polyaryletherketone family, which are used in a variety of hi-tech fields from smart phones and aircraft parts, to gears, films and medical and dental products.

The company was formed following a management buyout from ICI in 1993 based at the former ICI Hillhouse site.

It employs more than 700 and in April this year bought Gloucestershire polymer fibre firm Zyex for £10m.

Larry Pentz, chairman of Victrex, said: “I am delighted that Jakob has joined Victrex.

“With his track record of making markets and delivering growth, the Board believes he is a strong fit for Victrex, as we focus on executing our polymer, forms and parts strategy over the coming years.”

David Hummel said: “Jakob joins Victrex at a good time for the business as we continue to perform well.

“I am greatly looking forward to working with Jakob over the coming months.”

Mr Hummel, 59, will retire as chief executive on September 30, but will remain on the board as an executive director until February 2018.

Jakob Sigurdsson, chief executive-designate of Victrex, commented: “It is a privilege to become the chief executive of such a highly regarded global company.

“I look forward to executing on growth opportunities over the coming years for Victrex, as well as for our partners and customers.”

Mr Sigurdsson, 53, has more than 20 years’ experience in large multinational companies, including with Rohm and Haas (now part of Dow Chemical) in the US, as chief executive of food manufacturer Alfesca in Europe, and as chief executive of Promens, a global design and engineering company in plastic products.